Sabtu, 13 Maret 2021

New Zealand remembers Christchurch mosque shootings two years on as Jacinda Ardern speaks at service - ABC News

Several hundred people gathered at the Christchurch Arena for the national service to remember the 51 people who were killed in 2019 when a gunman opened fire at two mosques.

A similar service planned for last year was cancelled at short notice due to the sudden spread of the coronavirus.

The service was held with speeches from survivors and the family and friends of victims lost, and a one-minute's silence in their honour.

Temel Atacocugu, who survived being shot nine times during the attack on the Al Noor mosque, said the slaughter was caused by racism and ignorance.

"They were attacks on all of humanity," he said.

A man who survived the attack on the Al Noor mosque, cries as he speaks at a National Remembrance Service.
Temel Atacocugu, a survivor of the attacks, said survivors would never be able to erase the pain in their hearts.(

AP: Kai Schwoerer/Pool


He said the survivors would never be able to erase the pain in their hearts and would never be the same.

"However, the future is in our hands," he said.

"We will go on and we will be positive together."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke to congregators and said the attacks should tighten New Zealand's resolve as a united, multi-faith nation.

"Much has been said, but words despite their healing power will never change what happened that day," Ms Ardern said.

"But while words cannot preform miracles, they do have the power to heal. That means we must use them wisely.

The efforts of first responders, including police and medics, were also acknowledged.

Members of the Muslim community attended the service to remember loved ones, while some shared memories.

Their speeches were followed by an Islamic prayer by Imam Gamal Fouda from Al Noor Mosque.

Police and the Armed Offenders Squad were stationed outside the arena as a precaution, while a sniffer dog went through bags of people as they prepare to enter the arena.

A lament for the lost

The names of the 51 men, women and children killed were read out by members of their bereaved families.

A waita, Manu Makamutu, a traditional lament, was performed by students at Cashmere High School.

Seven people associated with the school were killed or injured in the attack, including 16-year-old Hamza Mustafa, his father Khaled Mustafa, 14-year-old Sayyad Milne and former student Tariq Omar.

In the March 15, 2019 attacks, Australian Brenton Tarrant killed 44 people at the Al Noor mosque during Friday prayers before driving to the Linwood mosque, where he killed seven more.

Last year Tarrant, 30, pleaded guilty to 51 counts of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder and one count of terrorism. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

After the attacks, New Zealand quickly passed new laws banning the deadliest types of semiautomatic weapons.


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2021-03-13 06:52:54Z

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